Monday, June 22
Parenthood does not come without a myriad of anxiousness, fears, emotions, and sleepiness, no matter the age of our children! It’s a non-stop roller-coaster ride that doesn’t allow you to get off. Sometimes it’s exciting, scary, or gives you butterflies or makes you sick. Some of it gives you adrenaline and some of it is boring. It’s a ride that you almost always want to stay on because it’s the best ride, but every once in awhile, you want to take a break and maybe, I don’t know, actually get something to eat?
I sit here now, nearly five years in and two kids later projecting into the future. When I do this, I can get very overwhelmed. Like, oh my gosh, I have to keep parenting? It gets better and harder at the same time. They will grow and live and see things and learn things and I have to know what I’m doing to walk alongside them, yes? Life is moving so fast, and I feel like I’m not good enough to keep up. So, I turned to a dear friend with three teenagers and simply asked,
How do you do it?
God. And grace. Lots of grace.
She realized she could do none of it without God, and she surrendered each day to Him, trusting that He was in control. She’d wake up and claim, “I am 100% pleasing to God today,” no matter what she did, and then lived that out throughout her day. It opened her heart to live fully and forgive herself easily.
Grace, she said. Something I don’t give myself enough. Instead I told her I vilify myself and lay in bed at night running through every moment of the day where I did it wrong, where I failed my kids, where I convinced myself I have no business being a Mom. It’s hard to parent when parenting is hard on you, can I get an amen?
My friend stopped me in my self- deprecating tracks.
“Think about your boys. How would you feel if they thought these things about themselves?”
“Crushed,” I said.
“So don’t you think God is pretty crushed that you, his daughter, is this hard on herself? When his infinite grace is at your disposal? Grab the grace, Karen.”
Sometimes I forget the gift that is parenthood because it gives me insight into how God feels about me. It provides me a glimpse, however small, into how much God really loves me, in the same way, I love my children.
Except God loves infinitely more so, and His love is also perfect.
So why do we so easily forget? Why is it so hard for us to accept God’s love and grace, but we’re so quick to believe the lies of the enemy?
It’s hard to comprehend perfect love when we are anything but perfect. We are broken people living in a broken world and we tend to see our brokenness as a separator from God when in actuality God uses our brokenness as a way to Him.
The enemy uses our brokenness for destruction. God uses our brokenness for restoration.
God restores our brokenness by offering His grace.
Nearly five years into this parenting thing and I know I can look back and find all the things I did wrong, all the ways I failed, or all the ways things could have gone better. Because those things are there. There’s no denying that.
Or I can look back and see His grace and love for me despite it all.
The enemy says it’s because of your brokenness you cannot break free.
God says it’s because of my grace in your brokenness that you already are free.
Since becoming a parent, a lot has changed.
But God’s grace has not.
And it was, and is, sufficient for us.
So, won’t it always be?
Grab the grace.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me,” – 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Karen Veenstra, Family Program Coordinator
Karen is married to her husband, Adam, of nine years and they have two sons, Brooks (4) & Graham (1). They attend our Morris County campus. Your Elementary and Middle School-aged kiddos may also know her as Macy.
Now that summer has begun, not only do we want you to grab the grace, but grab your kiddos and head outside for your very first BOREDOM BUSTER of the summer! If you’ve signed up to receive your daily boredom buster, this is where you’ll find it each morning. Get some Jesus above and get some fun below by clicking the image below.